12Volt Vs 24Volt Trolling Motors: What You Need to Know

If you’re in the market for a trolling motor, you may be wondering if you should go with a 12volt or 24volt model. Both have their pros and cons, so it can be tough to decide which is right for you. In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between these two types of motors and help you decide which one is best for your needs.

Based on your boat’s length and weight, as well as the type of fishing you’ll be doing, you may find that a 12volt trolling motor is just right. These motors are less expensive than their 24volt counterparts and can run for a longer time on a single charge. However, they may not have enough power to move your boat in heavy currents or windy conditions.

On the other hand, a 24volt trolling motor will cost more but it will offer more power and performance. This is ideal for larger boats or for fishing in heavier conditions. If you often find yourself in rough waters, a 24volt motor is probably the way to go.

With the development of 36Volt brushless motors, many people are now finding that the extra power is worth the investment. These motors offer even more power and performance than 24volt models and can really help you get where you’re going, even in difficult conditions.

Let us now dive in a little deeper and see what else sets these two types of trolling motors apart.

Why Exactly Do You Need a Trolling Motor?

If you love to fish, then you know that having a trolling motor can make life a whole lot easier. Not only will it help you get to your fishing spot faster, but it will also allow you to move around without spooking the fish.

In most cases, this motor is not the only propulsion system on your vessel, but it is definitely a very important one, especially if you enjoy fishing in shallow waters. It comes with a handheld tiller for steering and can be controlled with either one or two hands, depending on the model.

As of today trolling motors come in 12 Volt, 24 Volt, and even 36 Volt versions. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Why Thurst Is Important for Trolling Motors?

For trolling motors in general thurst is the pushing or pulling force exerted by a fluid, especially water or air, on an object in the direction of its flow. In the context of trolling motors, thurst tells you how much power the motor can generate to move the boat forward.

A powerful trolling motor can help you move through heavy vegetation and thick cover with ease. It can also be useful when you’re trying to position your boat in windy conditions or against a strong current.

It is pretty clear by now the 24Volt trolling motor has more thurst than the 12Volt. But how does that affect you?

Well, if you have a small boat, or you fish in relatively calm waters, a 12V trolling motor will probably do just fine. On the other hand, if you have a larger vessel or you often find yourself fishing in challenging conditions, a 24V trolling motor is probably a better choice.

Of course, there are also 36V trolling motors, but these are mostly used by professional anglers or guides.

A thing to remember here though is in either use case this does not affect the speed at which the trolling motor can propel your vessel. The speed is determined by the propeller, not the power of the motor.

What Determines the Trolling Motor Run-Time?

The time a trolling motor can run on a single charge is determined by its battery capacity and discharge rate. Most 12V trolling motors have a battery capacity of around 55-85 amp-hours (Ah), while 24V trolling motors have a capacity of around 110-170 Ah.

Look out for amper hour rating (Ah) when shopping for a trolling motor battery. This will give you a good idea of how long the battery will last on a single charge.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the larger the battery, the heavier it will be. So if weight is a concern for you, choose a smaller battery with a lower Ah rating.

When To Use 12 Volt Trolling Motor

If you are fishing in small water bodies, or you have a small boat with a shallow draft, then you may be better off with a 12-volt trolling motor. A 24-volt trolling motor will be overkill for such usage and may actually end up being a hindrance. You will also find that it is easier to install a 12-volt trolling motor on your own as compared to a 24-volt trolling motor.

Being lightweight is another big advantage that 12-volt trolling motors have over their 24-volt counterparts. This is because the latter requires two batteries to function while the former only needs one. This makes them not only easier to install but also lighter on your wallet.

However, there are certain disadvantages of using a 12-volt trolling motor. The biggest one is that it doesn’t have as much power as a 24-volt trolling motor. This makes it unsuitable for use in larger water bodies or for boats with a bigger draft. You will also find that the battery life is shorter as compared to a 24-volt trolling motor.

When To Use 24 Volt Trolling Motor

If you are fishing in large water bodies or you have a big boat, then you will need the extra power that a 24-volt trolling motor provides. The increased thrust will make it easier for you to move your boat around on rough waters. You will also find that the battery life is better as compared to a 12-volt trolling motor.

For pontoons, center console greater than 16 Foot, or other larger vessels, the 24-volt trolling motor is really the only option. As you have more weight on these boats one needs more thrust to move the vessel. The extra weight is also going to deplete the battery at a faster rate than on smaller vessels.

The big disadvantage of using a 24-volt trolling motor is that it is heavier and more difficult to install as compared to a 12-volt trolling motor. You will also need to buy two batteries instead of just one. This can be quite expensive.

Maximizing Battery Life Is a Must

No matter which trolling motor you choose, one of the most important things you need to consider is how to maximize your battery life. After all, there’s nothing worse than being out on the water and having your trolling motor die on you.

One way to maximize battery life is to use a trolling motor with variable speed control. This way, you can adjust the speed of the trolling motor according to the conditions. For example, if you’re fishing in calm waters, you can use a lower speed and save battery power.

Another way to save battery power is to use the trolling motor only when necessary. For example, if you’re fishing in shallow waters, you can use your paddles to move around instead of using the trolling motor. This will help you save a lot of battery power.

You should also avoid using the trolling motor at full power for extended periods of time. This can drain the battery very quickly. If you need to use full power, do it in short bursts instead.

Finally, make sure to keep your batteries clean and free of corrosion. This will help them last longer and perform better.


Choosing the right trolling motor can be a challenge, especially when you have to decide between 12Volt and 24Volt motors. In general, if you are fishing in smaller water bodies or have a small boat, then a 12-volt trolling motor should do just fine. If you are fishing in larger water bodies or have a bigger boat, then you will need a 24-volt trolling motor. Keep in mind that the bigger the trolling motor, the more expensive it will be. Also, make sure to take into account the battery life and weight when making your decision. Whatever trolling motor you choose, just make sure to have fun and enjoy your time out on the water!